CYBG chief executive David Duffy said yesterday he did not know if branch closures were largely behind the Scottish banking group.
Speaking after CYBG reported a “transformational” year, capped by the £1.7 billion takeover of Virgin Money, Mr Duffy said it was impossible to say.
But the group is investing in its estate by creating “flagship” branches and may need many more of these to cope with a fast-growing number of small business customers, he said.
The north and north-east have been hit by a wave of bank branch closures.
Just last week, Bank of Scotland confirmed its branches in Keith and Lossiemouth would close next year due to a dwindling amount of customers.
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Locations affected by closures at CYBG-owned Clydesdale Bank this year include Aboyne, Banff, Fraserburgh, Mintlaw, Stonehaven, North Esplanade West in Aberdeen, Aberlour, Buckie and Thurso.
The Clydesdale Bank name itself will disappear from Scotland’s high streets over the next few years as CYBG converts its retail branches to the “iconic” Virgin brand.
Combining CYBG’s two banks – it also owns Yorkshire Bank – with Virgin Money is expected to lead to about 1,500 job losses, although Mr Duffy has assured that it will create more employment opportunities in the long run.
Glasgow-based CYBG posted a 13% jump in underlying pre-tax profits, to £331 million, for the year to September 30.
An extra £150m charge linked to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and other “legacy” costs meant the bottom line pre-tax figure came in £164m into the red, compared with profits of £26m a year earlier.
CYBG, now the UK’s sixth largest full-service bank, also highlighted 4.5% mortgage growth, a 5.6% increase in small and medium-sized enterprise core lending, a 4.2% jump in deposits and strong take-up of its digital services.
Alasdair Ronald, senior investment manager at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin in Scotland, said: “This was a strong set of results for the bank.”